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HindustanTimes Thu,21 Aug 2014

Geelani's release creates fear among NC leaders

HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times  Srinagar, October 31, 2013
First Published: 22:49 IST(31/10/2013) | Last Updated: 22:50 IST(31/10/2013)

The National Conference fears that the poll boycott campaign of Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani, who has been freed from house arrest after 236 days, may disrupt the assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir.

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NC leader Mustafa Kamal has accused the Centre of harboring Geelani to weaken his party. Kamal told local news agency CNS on Wednesday, "Both Pakistan and New Delhi are providing monetary assistance to Geelani and other likeminded separatist leaders to uproot the NC from the political map of the state."

He said that the hardliner leader was released to persuade people, especially the supporters of Jamat-e-Islami, to vote in favour of PDP candidates in the assembly elections.

"Geelani will now visit NC bastions to enforce the poll boycott and would urge Jamat-e-Islami leaders to help the PDP," he added

Meanwhile, another ruling party leader Ali Muhamad Sagar has said that Geelani has a "strong foothold in Kashmir".

Appealing to Geelani to halt his poll boycott campaign, Sagar said:  "Kashmir is the issue between India and Pakistan and the election has no direct bearing on it. Elections are for the day to day issue of common people. It cannot affect even a single dimension of the Kashmir issue," said local news service KNS.

He said the government had not arrested Geelani, it had only imposed restrictions on his movement.


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